Amazon has announced the launch of a new streaming video service offering over 5,000 commercial-free movies and TV shows. Called Amazon Prime, the new service costs $79 (€57.9) a year and is aimed at competing with Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Amazon has signed up two major studios, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, to provide older movies from their libraries, along with 13 independent providers including the BBC, PBS, Magnolia Pictures, IFC and National Geographic.
Amazon said it is in talks with all major studios and producers to obtain more content for its instant streaming service. Amazon already offers more than 90,000 movies and TV shows for rental or purchase on a one-off basis, as part of its download service.
Both Netflix and Amazon video can be viewed on PCs and other devices, including connected TVs or sets connected to some Blu-ray players and dedicated set-top boxes such as the Roku. Netflix charges $7.99 a month ($95.88 a year) for its streaming only service, but has a wider choice of titles available, as well as newer titles. The company has around 200 million subscribers, of who two-thirds stream movies and TV shows.